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Nepal’s current crisis and the way out

Nepal’s current crisis and the way out

The present political scenario of Nepal is very much challenging and unpredictable. Nepali Congress (NC) was dethroned from the government in a very dramatic and unanticipated move as per the design of KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Naturally, NC is in a highly ferocious and revenge-taking mood and hence watching and waiting for the opportune moment to retaliate while CPN-UML chair Oli and the party is in a very happy and victorious mood. They think they have won a very difficult war. Madhav Kumar Nepal and his party, though a part of the government, are confused—they don’t know whether joining the government was a right decision. 

Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) is happy and satisfied after getting important berths and good representation in the government. Madhes-based parties are divided and they are fighting among themselves as enemies and not just as competitors. Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) seems deeply annoyed and indignant for her isolation in the whole making and breaking process. Some power centers are very much happy while some are extremely sad. People are eagerly waiting for good governance, service delivery, job and political stability.

The question now is how the situation moves ahead? RPP and some Hinduvadi (pro-Hindu) forces are talking about street protests and have announced some slogans and programs for this purpose after submitting a memorandum consisting of their demands to the prime minister. In my opinion, they will try their level best to cash in on the situation and destabilize the whole scenario to create an atmosphere for effecting changes in the Constitution. For this purpose, they are likely to continue with their efforts to garner the sympathy and support of all those forces who are against the present government and coalition. Some power centers may extend their support to those who are not happy with the present coalition.

Now the question is what will be the tactics and strategy of NC? Will the party extend any kind of sympathy or support directly or indirectly to the street protestors? As a true parliamentary democrat, will it instead play the role of a strong and constructive opposition inside and outside the parliament? Presently, the party is blocking the House session and demanding the resignation of the Home Minister accusing him of involvement in a Cooperative Scam. The House is tense and anything can happen.

Madhav Nepal’s party is also not in order and seems to have a high degree of dissatisfaction and grudges inside. Nobody can predict what will happen at that party. There are two distinct political trends in that party. One trend is for left unity and the other for left and democratic unity. Madhav Nepal is suffering from the policy of indecisiveness and confusion.

Hence the present coalition seems very fragile. Hostilities between the present coalition and the main opposition party, Nepali Congress, is increasing and there is a risk that competition between the two may transform into enmity. If such a political situation arises, it may injure and damage the democratic course. It may weaken or retard the constitutional process and ultimately encourage and strengthen the revivalist forces.

Confrontation or long indecisiveness will create political instability and hence chaos and uncertainty in the country. It is not good for a smooth political and economic development of the country. 

Nepal needs political stability and people need good governance, service delivery, jobs and social peace.

The present government should focus on people’s daily life and their needs as well as their aspiration of a corruption-free country and a job-creating economy. If the government cannot deliver and bring stability and win hearts and minds, it does not have political or moral rights to govern. And the duty of the opposition in parliamentary democracy is to raise the plight and hardships of the common people in the parliament, focus on national issues and stand for political stability and economic development of the country.

In my opinion, the present political and economic situation of the country is very challenging, which should be the agenda of all political forces despite their different political places. Some political forces are challenging and questioning the federal democratic republican and secular fabric of the Constitution. So, there should be some level of understanding among the pro-Constitution forces.

The national economy is in poor shape. Capital expenditure is not increasing, public revenue is not satisfactory, mass-migration of young people is ongoing, market is suffering from depression, business activities are slowing down, jobs are hard to find, industrial activities are declining, people’s purchasing power is decreasing, there is crisis in the farm sector and the economy is mainly dependent on remittances and loans. Such a scenario may cause a Sri Lanka-type crisis anytime. Hence for political stability, for the protection of the Constitution and for overcoming the economic crisis, major political forces of the country should reach a political understanding and consensus.

Views are personal